Pakistan storm into Asian Junior Team Squash Championship
ISLAMABAD – Top seeds Pakistan stormed into the final of the 19th Asian Junior Team Squash Championship-2019 as they hammered Hong Kong 2-0 in the semi-final played in Pattaya, Thailand on Saturday.
Although it was not a convincing victory as Farhan Hashmi was taken right down to the wire in the first match before he pulled off victory in five tight games.
Hashmi started the semi-finals first match against Wai Lok. Pakistan had options cut down due to injury to Haris Qasim, who was given rest as team management was highly optimistic that in case Farhan Hashmi lost the encounter, they had back up in the shape of Abbas Zeb and highly talented Hamza Khan. Hashmi started the first game on a very nervy note and soon lost the game 6-11. But he bounced back to take second game 11-6. Third game also played on a very high tempo and it was anybody’s game as both players had countless chances of wrapping up the game and the score kept on changing every second. It was highly close game, but it was Hashmi, who controlled his emotions and took the game 13-11. After playing so well, Farhan lost momentum and was simply outclassed in the 4th game as he lost the game 5/11. It was 5th and deciding game and Hashmi entered the game knowing anything less than the victory will hand over the advantage to Hong Kong. It was again played on a very fast tempo as both players fought for each and every point. Hasmi again prevailed in the close contest clinched the game 11-9 to give Pakistan 1-0 lead in the semi-final.
Abbas Zeb was up against Chun Yet Long in the second match. As per expectations, Chun was no match to Abbas’s power game. Abbas simply toyed with Chun and put him under enormous pressure and kept him on the run to all corners of the court. Abbas took the first game 11-5. Chun was looking tired, exhausted and hardly able to move freely, while Abbas was fully charged up and was at the peak of his game. He took second game 11-1 and finished off Chun by winning the third game 11-4 to give Pakistan well-deserved victory and a place in the finals. Pakistan will face 4th seeds archrivals India in the final who in the second semi-final had to dig very deep to beat second seeds Malaysia 2-1. It won’t be easy ride for the top seeds as in the pool match, India almost inflicted defeat on Pakistan and top seeds will have to play very aggressively, if they want to grab the title.